Posts Tagged ‘PC’

Malicious Software Strikes One Irish PC-user out of every 4

October 12th, 2011

According to Amarach Research, which recently conducted a survey for ESET the anti-virus vendor, one computer-user in Ireland out of every 4 has sometime encountered a crash-down of his PC alternatively virus/other malicious program attack, whilst one user out of every 5 encountered an infection or data-theft incidence on his PC.

The survey polled 852 people from every age-group across Ireland, seeking their remarks about 6 separate statements concerning malware like viruses, scam e-mails, hacking, ID-theft, botnets and social media.

Consequently, Amarach discovered that 14% of those surveyed encountered a hack alternatively suffered a compromise of the accounts they had on social-networking websites. And almost each 10th individual became a subject of deception, suffered exploitation of their private information or payment cards, alternatively had spam distributed from their computers unknowingly.

The survey further found that around 40% of respondents felt that they could be easily victimized with any alternative from those they were requested for remarking about, implying that either they don’t have faith in their anti-virus safeguards alternatively they don’t know about the inadequacy of their safety measures in relation to the attacks they encounter. Conversely, not fully 4% felt that none of the above attacks could target them, whilst 33% felt that it was either not simple alternatively quite improbable that they would be victimized.

Moreover, the demographic analysis pertaining to respondents disclosed that while the targeting of females and males was randomly done, though in identical rates, people in the age-group 15-24 encountered the maximum PC-crashes, ID-theft from social media accounts, and virus contaminations.

The older generation (45-54 years-of-age) had the maximum number of credit card and data theft encounters.

Urban Schrott, cyber-crime analyst at ESET, Ireland sated that the above could suggest that younger persons were inclined to operating PCs chiefly for social-media, entertainment and gaming. A probable result related to pirated movies, music and games, contaminating the younger people with malware, whilst browsing social-networking websites could make them ID-theft preys. But regarding adults, they were more inclined to bank and shop over the Internet, thereby potentially enabling abuse of their financial data, Schrott explained.


PC and Server Power Management Software Will Save Businesses $18.6 Billion by 2015, Forecasts Pike Research

October 6th, 2011

In September, Internet giant Google disclosed that it consumed more than 2 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy in 2010. The company also said that it plans to source 35% of its electricity use from clean power by 2012, either through direct purchases or by sourcing from utilities with clean power generation capabilities. Google’s moves toward energy transparency reflect a broader trend among large businesses to cut down on energy use, carbon emissions, and energy costs, particularly through the more efficient management of power use by personal computers, servers, and data centers. According to a recent report from Pike Research, the PC and server power management software market is set to expand nearly fivefold by 2015, saving businesses $18.6 billion and reducing energy use by more than 191 billion kWh.

Much of the power currently consumed in IT operations is wasted, the cleantech market intelligence firm finds. Many PCs are not switched off at night or over weekends, let alone when not being used during the day. Idle servers, meanwhile, continue to consume more than half the power they do when fully utilized.

“Using power management settings on a single PC could save 746 kWh of electricity in just a year,” says senior analyst Eric Woods, “which translates into savings of almost $77. Yet, in 2010, only a little over one-fifth of users employed power management settings effectively.”

Most companies that operate servers and data centers have more pressing concerns than energy use – namely, availability and response times. Add in the complication of virtual server “sprawl” (many different IT functions distributed across many different servers, using virtualization software), and it is hard even to know which tasks servers are actually performing and how much power is being consumed. In recent years, though, the power management software market has developed to include a variety of products with a range of functionality, from user-friendly tools to adjust PC power usage when machines are idle to complex virtualization management software that can, for example, dynamically shift computing loads between physical devices to maximize efficiency. Such tools offer a fast return on investment for companies looking to save costs and reduce emissions. “The degree to which IT is given a greater stake in reducing energy costs will be a significant factor in the development of this market,” adds Woods.

Pike Research’s report, “PC and Server Power Management Software”, examines the global market for PC power management and server power management. The study looks at the factors that are driving the market and those that are holding it back, and provides insights into the market issues and technology developments that are shaping how vendors approach the market now, and how that may change in the future. The report describes the competitive landscape, including vendor profiles and SWOT analyses, as well as revenue forecasts through 2015 for both the PC and server power management software markets. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.


New all-in-one security software covers PCs to phones

September 29th, 2011

Looks like the time has come: We all own so many dang digital devices that trying to protect them in various ways with various software has grown into a ginormous hassle. Now, McAfee Security is out with an all-in-one product that provides protection to PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

McAfee may be the first major security player at bat on this unified security front, but others are coming for consumers. Kaspersky will have a similar product available next month, and Symantec in 2012, according to reports, says IT Pro.

McAfee’s All Access is described by the company as the “first cross-device security solution that protects multiple Internet-enabled devices (PCs, Macs, smartphones, netbooks and tablets) under one annual plan.” It costs $99.99 for individuals, and $149.99 for the household version.

Not that we need stats to back up the fact we all own a growing number of digital devices. We know it by the number of cords jammed in the corners of rooms around the house. But, McAfee compiled some stats for us, anyway:

* 25 percent of “consumer Internet users now own at least five devices per household, with 60 percent owning at least three.”
* 41 percent spend “more than 20 hours per week using a digital device for personal use.”
* Consumers “place an average value of $37,438 on the ‘digital assets’ they own across multiple digital devices, yet more than a third lack protection across all of those devices. In the U.S., people valued their assets at a higher figure than anywhere else, at nearly $55,000.”
* “As a global average, respondents had 2,777 digital files stored on at least one digital device,” with those files including music, photos, personal communications, personal records, resumes, portfolios, cover letters and email contacts.

The figures come from research firm MSI International, which surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in 10 countries.

“Despite the high value of their digital assets, people still aren’t securing every device they own,” McAfee said. The survey found that more than 36 percent “don’t have security protection on all of their devices and 7 percent have no protection at all — leaving potentially thousands of dollars worth of digital assets at risk, if stored on an unprotected device.”

How well an all-in-one security approach works remains to be seen. But with more of us stashing our digital files in various places, like phones and tablets, and not just computers, one-stop security shopping could be a plus.


HP to decide on PC spin-off plans by year end

September 23rd, 2011

Just over a month after Hewlett-Packard said it would sell or spin-off its PC business, new CEO Meg Whitman on Thursday said the company will decide on a proposal to spin-off the PC unit by the end of the year.

Under former CEO Leo Apotheker, HP in mid-August said it would explore the sale or spin-off of the Personal Systems Group (PSG) unit, which deals in PCs, smartphones and tablets. News agency Bloomberg earlier reported that HP was reconsidering a proposal to spin-off the PC unit, citing a source familiar with the company’s plans.

Speaking on a conference call Thursday, Whitman said that a decision on the group’s future would come sometime in the next three months. “With regard to the potential spin off of PSG, we’re committed to doing the work right now to determine the best path forward and we expect the board to make a determination by the end of the calendar year if not sooner. This decision is solely based on the value to investors and value to customers,” Whitman said.

Whitman was appointed as HP’s CEO on Thursday after the company board identified weaknesses in former Apotheker’s leadership and felt the need to bring in new leader, said Ray Lane, executive chairman at HP on the conference call.

With razor-thin margins and slowing sales, the PC unit has become a drag as HP moves to emphasize more profitable business areas such as enterprise software, services and hardware. HP in mid-August also said it would kill webOS smartphones and tablets, and a buying frenzy ensued after HP started selling its TouchPad tablets at US$99 to clear out inventory.

Analysts said that the PC business is an integral part of HP’s operations and could remain in the company’s fold.

“They are the largest PC vendor is the world, the most profitable after Apple. Talking about spinning that off without any resolution on it was a surprise,” said Ezra Gottheil, senior analyst at Technology Business Research.

The plan to sell the PC business without a clear direction damaged trust with customers and partners, and may have cost Apotheker his job, Gottheil said.

“How would you as a customer have responded? I believe they are worried. They took a very large installed base and customer base and made them wonder.” Gottheil said. “I don’t think it ever was a good idea, and it’s never going to happen.”

Whitman’s top priority should be to stabilize the chaos surrounding HP’s direction among employees, partners and customers, Gottheil said.

Though challenged on margins, the PC business is HP’s largest revenue source and is self-sustaining, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. The PC business will help HP retain strong distribution and logistics capabilities, and be a key component in HP’s printer and higher-margin enterprise hardware and consulting businesses, Kay said.

“Aside from synergies, the PC business is still a contributor to the bottom line,” Kay said.

However, PSG’s webOS software and hardware business could be toast after being mishandled by Apotheker, Kay said. Apotheker inherited the webOS business after HP bought Palm last year when Mark Hurd was CEO. HP killed the tablets and smartphones, but said it would retain webOS software and license it to third parties.

HP’s TouchPad became hot only after it a drastic price drop to $99 from $499, so Apotheker must have prematurely dismissed the market, Kay said. Had the TouchPad sold for $299, HP would have sold a few thousand units, enough to establish a beachhead in the market, Kay said.

There is also little interest in licensing WebOS, Kay said, adding that it stands little chance against competing mobile platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 OS for tablets will make it even more challenging for WebOS to survive.

“Nobody wants to license [WebOS]. If they don’t build their own hardware and can’t license it, they bought Palm for nothing,” Kay said.

Disagreeing with analysts, consultant Steven Protter said HP should move ahead with plans to spin-off the PC business to maintain financial integrity. Protter specializes in HP server and software integration.

“I believe that the PC business is low margin and agree with HP’s decision to spin it off so long as they retain their server business,” Protter said.


Rebit 5 PC Software Now Available in Western Europe through Avanquest

September 22nd, 2011

Rebit™ Inc., the company dedicated to making backup and recovery for PC users “ridiculously simple,” today announced that Avanquest, a world leading developer and publisher of consumer software and business solutions, has signed a publishing contract to provide Rebit 5 software to its western European customers.

“We are delighted that Avanquest is bringing Rebit 5 to its significant customer base in western Europe,” commented Paul Guerin, CEO, Rebit Inc. “I am confident that Avanquests’ customers will find that Rebit 5 has reinvented how PC backup is done for consumers and small businesses.”

“Rebit is one of the easiest backup solutions,” said Katja Maier, sales director, Avanquest Deutschland. “Rebit is perfect for all users who don’t want to waste more time than necessary on backups. They simply need a reliable solution in case that their data is lost and they urgently need their last backup, and that’s exactly what Rebit does. We’re happy to welcome Rebit in our repertoire.”

About Rebit’s Ridiculously Simple Software

Rebit provides unprecedented ease-of-use and complete, automatic backup and full system recovery for PCs. The award-winning Rebit 5 features:

A new user interface showing backup and recovery status at a glance
Concurrent support for Direct Attached Storage and Network Attached Storage
On-demand recovery point creation and one button system restore
Drive Rotation for home offices and small businesses that require offsite backup
USB 3.0 support
Rebit 5 software is available in single- and three-PC licenses or can be purchased preinstalled on portable and desktop hard drive appliances in capacities ranging from 320GB to 2TB. A 30-day free trial can be downloaded at, where an upgrade is also available for current users. U.S. computer retailers and resellers can purchase through Rebit authorized distributors D&H


HP unveils PC security software

September 12th, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Co unveiled a range of new computer-security software, part of an effort to tap about $14 billion in acquisitions during the past year to help customers manage their data centers.

ArcSight Express 3.0, a package of computer hardware and software, combs through logs of network activity and users’ actions to look for cyber attacks, Hewlett-Packard said in a statement. It also introduced a new Fortify Software Security Center product, which can test applications for vulnerabilities to attack, and Tipping Point Web Application Digital Vaccine software that identifies malicious network traffic.

Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker is under pressure to make acquisitions pay off and expand the company’s foothold in data-center equipment and software. Hewlett-Packard has cut sales forecasts three times and reversed course on a plan to produce smartphones and tablets with its WebOS software, rankling investors.

The company also said on Aug. 18 it would explore a spinoff of its $41 billion personal systems group.

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest personal-computer maker, has made a run of acquisitions to lessen its dependence on PCs. Last September, it completed a $2.1 billion acquisition of data-storage company 3Par Inc. It also acquired security companies ArcSight Inc and Fortify Software Inc in the past year.

On Aug. 18, the company announced plans to pay $10.3 billion for search software company Autonomy Corp. Hewlett- Packard expects that deal to close by the end of this year.

‘Substantial overlap’
Jan Zadak, executive vice president of global sales, said there’s “substantial overlap” between customers who buy Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard’s software and data-center hardware and PCs. That means the company could use its computer dominance to sell the newer software products.

Hewlett-Packard’s plan to spin off its PC business has raised concerns about the company’s long-range strategy. The stock has fallen 28 percent since Aug. 17, the day before the news of the shakeup. The shares dropped $1.22, or 5.1 per cent, to $22.65 on Sept. 9 in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Zadak, speaking from Switzerland, said he’s been traveling the world the past three weeks trying to explain the company’s decisions to businesses that buy its products.


Limpag: Why you (likely) don’t need to pay for PC software

September 5th, 2011

STEVE Jobs said we are in a “post-PC” era. The tech visionary who recently stepped down as chief executive officer of Apple said in last year’s All Things Digital conference that the post-PC era has arrived and that increasingly, people rely on mobile devices to do their computing tasks.

The frail Jobs’ pronouncement was amplified by one of the engineers who created the IBM 5150, the first PC as we know it. Mark Dean, currently the chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa, said he has “moved beyond the PC as well” 30 years after it was unveiled on Aug. 12, 1981.

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“My primary computer now is a tablet. When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline. But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, CRT and incandescent light bulbs,” Dean said in a blog post at the IBM-sponsored Smarter Planet Blog.

All this talk of a post-PC world indicates a major shift in the computing needs of people.

What tasks do you do in your PC? Write documents? Send and receive e-mail? Sign into Facebook? Edit photos?

With the ubiquity of the Internet, people now rely on online services for their computing needs. This, essentially, is what people mean when they say “cloud

Several years back, you needed software like Outlook or Eudora to access your e-mail.

Now, most people have a web-based e-mail and increasingly, messages are read and written on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

To chat with people several years ago, you needed to install software like mIRC or various instant messaging (IM) clients like ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger and AIM. Now, all these services have Web-based clients and you can communicate with people even without having to install software. People are also increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to connect to these various IM services.

While it doesn’t offer even a fraction of Photoshop’s capabilities, online photo editors and free offline alternatives like the Gimp and would meet the needs of most users.

With the disengagement of certain computing tasks from the PC, we are seeing the realization of Sun Microsystem’s declaration in 1984 that “the network is the computer.” The PC, in some aspects, has become merely a gateway to the Internet.

With that, it shouldn’t matter for most people what system runs on their PCs so long as they can access these Internet services and perform regular computing tasks.

This provides an opportunity for Linux, a free and open source operating system that anyone can download and use, to be more widely adopted in the desktop. Linux is dominant in the mobile space with Android. Apart from the wrong impressions that it is difficult to use, Linux failed to gain much traction in the desktop because people were tied to specific software that worked only on Windows.

Chief among this is Microsoft Office (which costs anywhere from P3,300 to P7,900, depending on the version.) People seem to think they needed the whole Microsoft Office suite for their regular office documents. When you really look into it, there’s no need to spend all that money for Microsoft Office. LibreOffice, a separate and more actively-developed branch of OpenOffice, does most anything that Microsoft Office does. I’ve been using LibreOffice since January and I find it more than adequate for my needs.

Freed from Microsoft Office, you can go all the way and ditch Microsoft Windows to install Linux and save a few more thousand pesos. Using pirated Windows should never be an option because aside from the legal and moral issues, you also face security issues. Many pirated Windows copies contain viruses and trojans that put your files, even private data, at risk. Using pirated Windows also bars you from getting security updates, which are needed to close recently discovered vulnerabilities in the operating system.

Of course, you’d probably get stuck with Windows if you need to work with proprietary software for specific tasks like page layout, intensive photo editing and video editing.

By using Linux, you save yourself thousands of pesos and more importantly, secure your PC from viruses. If you’ve never tried a Linux system, I suggest you try Ubuntu Linux (contact me if you need help). I’m not belittling the adjustment that you have to make because you do need to learn new things. But it will be all worth it.


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